"Where are we?" he asked, looking at the room/place she had brought him to. "Why are we here?" Aura turned to him, her smile scared him, something inside his head warned him that her expression spoke of raw desire, the want, the need to posses, but he shook it off. This was Aura, the love of his life, she wouldn't hurt him. She couldn't possibly hurt him. So why was he so scared? "What business did you have with Eric?" he asked, but he didn't hear his voice say it, had he really asked? Aura pulled him over to the pillows that were everywhere, her smile alluring and frightening at the same time.
"Come on Billy, you know you want me. I want you." And she showed him just what she meant by that. Billy was warring with himself, he had fantasized about what this day would be like, he did want to be with her, but he was scared. He wasn't ready for this, he knew it deep down inside... but he couldn't bring himself to tell her to stop. Before he quite realized what was going on, she bore him down onto the floor with a force that didn't invite protest.
Still, he did. "I don't think we're ready for this, Aura. I know I'm not, please, let's go home." He tried to sit up, but she held him down with a strength he never would have guessed she owned without being morphed. "Aura, please! Let me go, please, this is going too fast." Somehow she held him down and managed to make things easier for what she had in mind at the same time. Despite his struggles, he couldn't stop her. Part of him had wanted this day, to be with her, but NOT like this!
"I will not let you go, I want you and you want me, you can't deny it!"
"Yes! I can't deny it, I do want you, but this is wrong!! This isn't right, it's too soon. I'm not ready, Aura please..." he begged. She laughed cruelly in his face as she pinned his hands over his head, holding him prisoner.
"I don't care, I went to a lot of trouble to give that brat Azure to Eric to get this place for the two of us! Now, either you can enjoy this, or I can be the only one to enjoy it, the choice is yours." Billy could feel the blood drain from his face.
"You did what? How could you, she's your sister!"
"She doesn't count. Only what I want counts. You've made your decision, then. Very well, I'm going to enjoy myself... but you're not!" Billy struggled vainly, but he couldn't stop her. A second set of hands grabbed his, steel bands appeared out of the floor and the second pair of hands locked his wrists into them, then the hands did the same to his ankles. He heard Eric's slimy voice drifting away as the hands left him.
"He won't give you anymore trouble, Aura. Now I'm off to have 'fun' with Azure."
"You won't have as much fun as me, but thanks Eric," Aura called to her evil cohort from her perch on Billy's stomach. Billy caught sight of Eric Matthews disappearing into the fog that had appeared from nowhere, waving at Aura, smiling evilly at Billy. Billy struggled vainly against his bonds, the pillows that had been under him were gone, only a cold floor was there now, and he couldn't get free. Aura pressed an elbow into his chest, making him cough as it got harder to breathe. "Now then, my love, where to begin? I intend to have FUN."
"I'm not your love! You aren't Aura, not the true one! You only know desire and possession, you don't know love! I don't love you, I love the REAL Aura! Let me go!!! AURA!!!" he screamed. Her evil side laughed with delight at his agony.
"What's the difference? I've got you, and you are MINE to do whatever I want to with," she breathed into his ear. Billy closed his eyes and flinched, he turned his head from her as much as he could. She grabbed his face and forcefully kissed him, a kiss that had it been from true love, would have filled his very being with indescribable love. But it was of possession and control, it filled him with fear and despair. He felt her hands travel down his helpless body and he cried, knowing he couldn't stop her. His tears became tears of pain as she had her 'fun'. Then the pain exploded, tearing a scream from his throat...
"NOOO!! Stop it!!" Billy awoke in his bed, sitting straight up and shaking uncontrollably. Aura loves me, that wasn't the real her in there, and that's not how it happened, he told himself. He forced his heart to stop racing, taking deep breaths and hoping his parents hadn't been awakened by his screaming. After several minutes had gone by and no one tapped at his bedroom door, he knew they hadn't heard him, and he sighed with relief. It was only a dream, it was only a dream...
Billy looked at the picture of Aura and himself on his nightstand, reaching out with a trembling hand to take it. He traced the outline of her sweet face, tears of love dropping onto the glass. "I love you Aura, I know that the whole you, the real you, wouldn't have done that to me, wouldn't have pushed me into something I wasn't ready for, something you weren't ready for. But that was a part of you, and she did want me. Which means you want me, as much as I want you." Billy sighed and looked out his window to the Robinsons' house. "But as whole people, we don't want to control or posses each other, we love each other. I have to make sure you know that. I have to make sure you know I love you, I still want to be with you forever. I don't blame you for what happened, I blame Zedd and Rita for taking our love and trying to twist it into something so evil and cruel. Whether that was what they intended to do to start with or not, they are the ones to blame. We love each other too much to hurt each other."
Billy sighed, placing the picture back on the nightstand and picking up a small white teddy bear that had been sitting next to it for the past three weeks. It was a gift from Aura, and the bear held a small red satin heart, embroidered with three simple words: "I love you."
"I love you Aura Robinson, with all my heart and soul, I will never hurt you, and I know you will never hurt me. And tomorrow I'm going to make sure you know just how much I love you. I'm not complete without you. And I'm never going to let Zedd and Rita tear us apart. Our hearts will be together for all eternity, I promise you. I love you Aura." Billy slipped back under the sheets and closed his eyes, clutching the teddy bear tightly to his chest. "I love you, Aura," he whispered as sleep claimed him once more, this time with dreams of true, pure love, and a world where he and Aura were together, a world of peace. The nightmare was gone forever.
* * *
Azure sat on her front porch, thinking. She hadn't been to school in just over a month; not since Billy and Adam had been kidnapped. Her parents had arranged for her to study at home with them, and she'd been glad of the time away. Aura and the other Rangers would be graduating in a month, and Azure was silently hoping she'd be able to attend.
"Azure?" the soft voice broke into her thoughts. She looked up to see Adam standing there, looking so lost and lonely it broke her heart. If only I could still talk to him. . .I miss him so much. . .but those dreams. . .
"Hi," was all she could say out loud, though, and quickly looked back to the book she'd been reading. Adam didn't give up, though.
"Azure, please, talk to me?" he asked gently. Azure shook her head, fright in her eyes.
"Don't. . .I can't," she protested. I want to. More than I want to breathe, I want to talk to you, to feel free to love you without anything getting in the way, but I can't!
"Azure," Adam looked at her. "Please, just for one day. I'll leave you alone after this if you want me to," Azure looked at him quietly, then sighed.
"Okay," I'll give it one last chance. I have to. As much as the dreams scare me, they're still just dreams. I have to try.
"Azure, I want to help you," Adam said, coming up onto the porch and sitting next to her.
"How?" Azure asked as she put her book aside. "I don't even know what's going on inside of me!" I wish I did! Maybe I could stop it then!
"Then we find out," Adam said simply. "Somehow."
Azure was quiet for a long time before she finally spoke. "I want your help, but I'm not sure you can help! I saw how ticked at me you got when I kissed Eric."
Adam smiled just a little. "Because I thought I'd lost you," he told her. And because it tore my heart out.
Azure sighed and touched Adam's face gently. Both he and she thrilled to the contact. "This is the first time since. . .," she paused, taking a deep breath. "since he tried to. . ."
Adam waited, knowing what she was about to say, and not about to interrupt her. His heartrate had tripled since she'd let him stay and they'd begun to talk.
"Rape me," Azure finished. Adam could see how she was trembling when she said it.
"Remember what Aura said. Tried. Not succeeded. And never will again."
"What if he had?" Azure asked; almost whispered. That had been her nightmare for years.
"I don't know," Adam admitted. "Is that what you've been thinking about all this time. If he had?"
"Not only that," Azure looked down, unable to face him. "I was scared that he would try it again. That he wouldn't stop until I was his. Even if it meant killing you."
Adam spoke seriously. "If he did, I'd come back to protect you. Don't ever be afraid of losing me, Azure, because you can't, as long as we both love each other."
Azure smiled as she looked into his dark eyes, then as another thought crossed her mind, she went white. "I can't get those images out of my head, either. He's haunting me, not only when I'm awake, but when I'm asleep too!"
Adam looked at her. "I can try to get them out, if you'll let me."
Azure smiled, causing Adam's pulserate to accelerate. "I hope you can," she told him. "I can't stand seeing his face!"
Adam's response to this was to pull Azure into a kiss that both of them were convinced shook the entire house: if not the entire world. When Azure finally moved her head away from Adam, he looked at her a bit worriedly. "Azure?"
She smiled. "I needed to breathe!"
"Did it work?" he asked, smiling. Azure frowned, but the light in her eyes, a light he'd long missed, told him he had nothing to fear.
"What do you think?" she pulled him close and kissed him again.
"Azure, I love you," he told her. She smiled at him as they kissed yet again.
"I love you, Adam Park," I'm free. . .I really am. I can kiss him. . .can love him. . .without seeing Eric's face! It's over or going to be over! "One thing, though. How badly did I hurt you during that last battle?"
"Not much," Adam told her. "Not physically, it hurt the worst to think I'd lost you."
Azure stood up. "You know this isn't totally solved. It's still going to take a lot for me to recover emotionally," but being with him. . .being able to be with him without being afraid, is the greatest first step in the world.
"But it's a beginning," he told her. She smiled and nodded. "Hold me?" she asked. Adam did at once. "I love you, Azure Robinson!"
She leaned against him, listening to his heart beat with love for her. "That feels so good. I've missed that!"
Things were finally looking up again for Adam and Azure. As they kissed, their thoughts did manage to wander briefly to Aura and Billy, who were finally going to have that long-delayed talk. Neither of them could keep their minds on the other couple for long, though, as they had a month and more of kissing and romance to make up for.
* * *
"It's hard to believe that it's been a little over a year since you became a Ranger," Billy said softly as he and Aura walked hand in hand through the park. Both of them were a trifle nervous about what they were going to talk about.
Aura nodded. "Well, I was always a Ranger," she corrected him, smiling a little. "A year since I knew it. . .and knew about you guys."
Billy led her over to a large shady tree to sit down. "We have a lot to talk about."
"I know," Aura took a deep breath. I've dodged this so many times. Now that we're going to talk about it. . .deliberately going to talk about it. . .I don't know what to say or do.
"So," Billy sighed. "Where do we begin?"
"With stating what we're talking about," Aura decided. "This is because of what happened when I was split into my good and evil sides. And about what my evil half did to you."
Billy nodded. Aura looked at him, then looked away. She had known she'd never be able to tell him this to his face, but it had to be said. "That evil me. . .she had the nerve I never did," and never will have. I know you can't possibly still want to be with me; you've only stayed around me because we're both Rangers, and because we haven't had this talk!
Billy placed a hand on hers. "Aura, what she did. . .do you know why I didn't object as strongly as I should have?"
"Why?" Aura managed to keep her voice steady. She hadn't wanted to think the past few months over the very real possibility that what her evil side had done had lost her Billy's love forever. That this talk would be the last one they ever had, as boyfriend and girlfriend. She really didn't think she'd be able to go on without him loving her. Her heart and soul had been so bound up in his for all her life. She wasn't even sure she could love someone else!
"Because what we did was what I've wanted to do with you for about a year now," Billy told her. Aura went beet-red as the implications of that sank in. "I thought she was you, that's why I didn't say much, even though I did think there was something odd about the way you. ..or she. . whatever. . was acting."
"I. . .uh. . .oh, I don't know what to say!" Aura was truly speechless for the first time in her life.
"She was a part of you, Aura. A part without control, without restraint. Your good half had your love for me, but not the desire. Your evil half had the desire, but not the love," Billy explained what he'd been thinking on since it had happened. "But you. . .you have both. . don't you?"
Aura turned to him, redder than most people would have thought humanly possible. "Yes," she whispered. "Oh, God, yes!!!! I've loved you, wanted you, couldn't get my mind off you for so long! That's why I hate what my evil half did; how can you want to be with me after that sort of experience?"
She almost got up to leave, when Billy caught her gently by one wrist and pulled her down closer to him. Before she could say or do anything else, he kissed her. Every ounce of his love, his passion, his need, every emotion he held for her, poured from his lips into hers. "Oh, Billy," she whispered as he pulled away from her a little. "Oh, Billy, I love you so much!"
Billy smiled at her. "Aura Robinson, will you marry me?"
Aura stared, her mouth dropping open. "What?"
"Will you marry me?" Billy asked again. Aura trembled with joy; she'd went from near-despair to purest bliss. There was only one way to answer him, the answer that had beat in her heart and soul from the moment she'd seen him at the age of three.
"Yes!!!" Billy pulled her into another kiss and hug. She could tell by the feel of his arms he didn't want to let her go, and she didn't want him to.
"You've made me the happiest person in the world!" he told her. Aura smiled and giggled as she leaned against him.
"I wonder if it's illegal to marry a space alien," she chuckled. Billy kissed her again.
"Who cares!" Billy laughed. "I know I don't!"
Aura smiled, then went a little serious. "Billy, you know Rita and Zedd take my existence. . .heck, all of our existences. .. as a personal insult."
"I know," Billy nodded. "But we will defeat them."
Aura nodded. " You know, I've loved you since the first moment I saw you, when I was three years old."
"Really?" he asked. She nodded again. "I knew even then that I loved you."
Billy smiled. "I know. I've loved you since I saw you then as well."
"Why didn't we say anything then?"
He shrugged. "Who knows?" Aura leaned against him a bit more, smiling.
"But we finally did. Even if it did take me being evil to do it!" Aura still remembered the fire that had swept through her veins during that first kiss, even though she'd been controlled by Zedd at the moment.
"That is one thing I owe to you. That made me admit my true feelings for you," Billy kissed her again. Aura smiled.
"I always knew mine. I never thought you cared that much, though."
"I never knew how to tell you."
Aura smiled. "I'm glad you guys have always been able to get through to me. Whenever I was with them, I mean. That's been my biggest fear for a while now, that they'd have me again, and that I couldn't be broken free."
Billy looked her straight in the eyes. "Remember one thing, if you remember nothing else. Remember how much we love you: all of us."
Aura smiled. "I will. As long as you guys always remember how much I love you."
Billy got to his feet and pulled her to hers. "When do you want to let everyone know our good news?"
Aura smiled. "Next month. When everyone comes down for graduation, then we can tell them all at the same time."
"I just hope we can hold on for a week," Billy chuckled. "When do you want to get married?"
Aura thought for a few minutes, then smiled. "June 22. The summer solstice, the longest day of the year."
"Two reasons: first: it will be the one year anniversary of my return to Earth from Kalakan. Second: it's the traditional wedding day of the Amber Rangers. Every one of my ancestors were married on the summer solstice, and I won't be the first to break the tradition, even if we are on another planet."
He smiled. "That's more than enough reason for me," they lost themselves in another kiss, one that seemed to last forever.
* * *
A week later
"What is it, Aura?" Azure had a tight grip around Adam's waist as they joined the throng in the Youth Center. "What's this big announcement?"
Jason, Zack, Trini, Kim, Shaya, David, Samuel, Jessica and Frank Robinson, Azure, all the active Rangers, everyone was sitting and waiting for the 'announcement' Aura and Billy had to tell them.
Aura smiled at Billy. "Who gets to tell them?"
"We tell them at the same time?" Billy suggested. Aura nodded, smiling. Jason broke in,
"Someone tell us, please!"
"Now, now, Jason," Aura teased, "be nice, or we won't say anything!"
"If you don't tell us, I'll have another breakdown!" Azure half-threatened. Aura chuckled, glancing at Billy.
"All right, we'll tell. Are you ready?"
"As I'll ever be!" Billy took a deep breath, as did Aura. "Let's do it."
Aura smiled at everyone gathered there, and took Billy's hand. "We're engaged!"
"What!?" Azure stared for a moment, then ran to her sister and hugged her strongly. "I'm so happy for you!"
"About time!" Jason congraulated them. Aura chuckled, then glanced over at Trini and Kim. Kim had pulled her purse out and was handing a stack of bills over to Trini.
"What's that about?" Adam asked Azure. The younger girl chuckled.
"About ten years ago, Trini and Kim made a bet on whether or not Billy and Aura would get engaged before high school graduation. Trini said they would, Kim said Billy was too shy to ask her. Looks like Trini was right: true love wins everytime."
Adam chuckled, then glanced over to the happy couple. "So, when did this happen?"
Aura blushed. "About a week ago!"
"What?" every face turned towards them. Billy explained, "We wanted to wait til everyone was here before we said anything. That way we didn't have to explain it over and over."
"I'm glad everything is getting back to normal," Azure smiled as she leaned against Azure. "For now at least."
Adam nodded as he wrapped an arm around her. "So am I."
The active Rangers had all noticed over the past month Adam and Azure had grown back together, and Azure seemed to be doing much better. Tommy smiled and whispered under his breath, "That's a welcome sight!"
* * *
Woah, I can't believe we're graduating. I'm glad I was able to catch up with the others; that six months' return trip set me behind. I'm even MORE surprised Bulk and Skull are graduating! Aura glanced around as the ceremonies began. Billy, the class valedictorian, was not too far from her, thank goodness. She smiled at him when she caught his eye, and chuckled a little. Things were going to start happening very quickly soon. Her birthday and Azure's were in two days, and she and Billy were going to be getting married in a little over two weeks.
Good thing Mother's old wedding dress will fit me without having to be altered any. I'm glad she's going to be staying for the wedding; I hope she stays for a long while. I wish she and David and Samuel would just stay here; but they can't. Well, time to get my diploma.
Aura stepped up in her turn to get the diploma, then turned to where Billy was. A quirky smile crossing her face, she gave him a kiss fit to blow the universe apart. "I love you," she told him, smiling. "And nothing's going to stop us from living. .. in the words of numerous fairy tales. . .happily ever after!!!!"